“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.
This deck is 6-inches-by-22.5-inches with that classic cruiser shape. The board is made with 6-ply bamboo and maple construction, which is lightweight, flexible, and eco-friendly. Bamboo Skateboards claims this board has a turning radius not seen in most mini decks. The small, blank deck is heavy duty and durable in a way not all mini cruisers are. This non-carbonized board is ready for you to slap on the grip tape and artwork you want and then get riding.
The skateboard industry is as colorful and competitive as the sport itself. It’s no surprise that the top skateboard brands all take on that daring, free expression and edgy creativity that is quintessential to the skateboarding community. But it’s not all fun and games — it takes a lot more than producing wooden decks with dope graphics to make it to the top. It takes hands-on dedication and genuine passion for the sport.
Quality wheels won’t mean much if you don’t have nice bearings which allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard truck. A quality set of bearings will spin well right away and actually get even better once broken in a bit. If quality bearings get dirty, they can typically be taken apart and cleaned relatively easily. A good set of bearings typically runs between $10 - $16.
Bearings are rated by the ABEC scale (1-9), which has nothing to do with skateboarding. Manufacturers know skaters believe higher ABEC ratings mean faster bearings. They do not, and you won’t find high-quality bearings on off-the-shelf skateboards. Most of these completes are slow. Make a bearing upgrade a top priority. Good bearings can make almost any skateboard fast. This article by longtime pro Anthony Pappalardo gives an insider’s perspective on bearings.
Powell Peralta has gained increasing popularity in the 1980s, when skateboarding became an increasingly more sought-after action sports. Since then, they have been developing skateboards tailored to customers, taking reviews and critiques into consideration every time they were building a new model. The Powell Golden Dragon is a direct result of such careful consideration and tailored-modeling.
Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn. This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".
Many of the most popular skateboard brands sponsor teams of skaters, like Zero's Jamie Thomas and Element's Barn Margera. Professional skaters are often good sources of information as to what skateboard you should buy. If a pro skater rides a certain board, there is a good chance that if he or she finds that it is high enough quality you will also like the board. Users looking for a new skateboard will want to research a variety of different brands to find the one that best suits their needs, based on function and features.
The magical thing about Supreme is that—despite what some may think—it actually caters to everyone. While they may not go out of their way to make you feel welcome, at its core, the brand is a legendary downtown skate institution, and there is no singular sensibility you can pin on Supreme. It's hip-hop and punk, menswear and streetwear. The unifying aspect is deep roots in skate, music, and art. Beyond that, anything goes.
Unlike California, where the sun always shines and the pavement has never seen snow and salt, New York only has a handful of skate brands. Funny when you think about the rich history skateboarding has in the City. 5Boro is one of the brands that has been keeping the tradition alive for more than a decade, and next time you see founder Steve Rodriguez out skating, thank him for making so much happen for skaters in NYC.
Chocolate Skateboards is a skateboarding company distributed by Crailtap. Following on the heels of Girl, Chocolate was launched in 1994 by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and is known by its Chocolate hearts logo. Their skateboards are made of durable seven-ply maple. Graphics are also important to the Chocolate brand, and you will find things such as classic cars or cartoons. You can find complete Chocolate skateboards with deck, trucks, wheels and bearings, customized decks, accessories, and apparel. The Chocolate team consists of Vincent Alvarez, Kenny Anderson, Chico Brenes, Justin Eldridge, Jesus Fernandez, Chris Roberts, Elijah Berle, Stevie Perez, Raven Tershy, and Jerry Hsu.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
Aside from keeping the more fashion-oriented side of skateboarding placated with ultrasoft crewnecks and clean 6 panel caps, Dime keeps the side of skating focused on actual footage and hijinks fed through their Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@dimemtl), where they post their day-to-day in Montreal doing what skateboarders do best: having fun with their friends.
Choosing a skateboard deck can be approached in a few different ways: you can choose your board based off the graphic, the brand, the shape, the width, or even the color. For most skateboarders, it’s a combination of all these factors, but if you’ve never skateboarded before, you may not know what shape, width, or brand you like best. In this case, choosing your favorite graphic would make total sense.
Choosing a good skateboard can be tricky, if you're a beginner in the sport. There's a lot that you have to take into account, in addition to the cost. You have to also consider the complete board, the deck, the trucks, and the wheels, whether you're buying a ready-made skateboard or are putting together your own. Once you understand what makes a good skateboard, you'll be hitting up the skate parks in no time.
Graphically speaking, Welcome is very distinctive, with an emphasis on hand drawn imagery and references to esoteric and occult themes mixed with bright colourways. Welcome Skateboards also offer a detailed shape guide on their website, detailing the exact dimensions of all of their 38 custom shapes, which again differentiates their product from many of the skateboard brands on the market.
Minority Maple Skateboard is an aesthetically engineered, quality starter skateboard. It is solid to the core. It is made with 7-ply hard rock maple cold pressed into 32×8-inch deck. It is built to endure weight up to 220 lbs. Its mediate concave design makes it perfect for performing tricks with ease and dexterity. Its 5-inch long trucks made with genuine aluminum alloy makes it an epitome of strength and endurance. Its carbon steel kingpin and 78A high rebound PU bushing adds to its strength. ABEC-9 precision bearings are manufactured using chrome steel with 52mm 102A PU wheels making the Minority Maple Skateboard a speedster.
Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
After numerous tour-based releases and the epic Lakai footwear video ‘Fully Flared‘ (2007), Girl Skateboard’s last (to date) full-length company release came in the form of ‘Pretty Sweet‘ (2012) which, aside from showcasing ground-breaking skateboarding, also set a new standard in terms of production values with Ty Evans employing cinematic camera technologies to capture the skateboarding, as well as the skits.
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Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
Best cruiser skateboards include large wheels, since they offer you both stability and speed. They usually have much softer wheels than the regular skateboards you use for doing skateboard tricks and ollies. A good beginner cruise skateboard for beginners can be the La Sports Retro board. It has a simple design and is surrounded by 5-star reviews all around! Many customers report it feeling sturdy and firm, while going at very good speeds.
We love Powell Peralta for a number of reasons as do all its customers but the foremost reason being its variety in terms of the skateboards that it manufactures. It has a collection of 30 different skateboard models, with a fusion of unique graphics and colors. They offer different skateboards that you can choose from, depending on your riding style, budget, body fitness and riding style.
In 1975 skateboarding had risen back in popularity enough to have one of the largest skateboarding competitions since the 1960s, the Del Mar National Championships, which is said to have had up to 500 competitors. The competition lasted two days and was sponsored by Bahne Skateboards & Cadillac Wheels. While the main event was won by freestyle spinning skate legend Russ Howell, a local skate team from Santa Monica, California, the Zephyr team, ushered in a new era of surfer style skateboarding during the competition that would have a lasting impact on skateboarding's history. With a team of 12, including skating legends such as Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Peggy Oki & Stacy Peralta, they brought a new progressive style of skateboarding to the event, based on the style of Hawaiian surfers Larry Bertlemann, Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Mark Liddell. Craig Stecyk, a photo journalist for Skateboarder Magazine, wrote about and photographed the team, along with Glen E. Friedman, and shortly afterwards ran a series on the team called the Dogtown articles, which eventually immortalized the Zephyr skateboard team. The team became known as the Z-Boys and would go on to become one of the most influential teams in skateboarding's history.
Remember don't get those cheap skateboards from Walmart. They won't hold up to any skating and can break from a single ollie that is landed improperly. I know they are cheap, but 2 cheap boards a week for a few weeks adds up to the price of 2 or 3 expensive boards. These boards are also heavier and slow which makes them much more difficult to do tricks on.
Wedding Rodney Mullen‘s decades of technical experience regarding board shaping, concaves and the technical minutiae of skateboard manufacturing, (along with his huge fame and celebrated status as the father of modern street skating), with Daewon’s irrepressibly enthusiastic persona and supernatural skateboard talents, Almost was, from the outset, a brand predicated on celebrating the ‘fun’ side of skateboarding whilst simultaneously pushing the technical parameters of what could be done.